A search for radio emission from Galactic supersoft X-ray sources

R. N. Ogley, S. Chaty, M. M. Crocker, S. P. S. Eyres, M. A. Kenworthy, L. F. Rodrguez, A. M. Stirling, A. M. S. Richards

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We have made a deep search for radio emission from all the northern hemisphere supersoft X-ray sources using the Very Large Array (VLA) and multi-element radio-linked interferometer network (MERLIN) telescopes, at 5 and 8.4GHz. Three previously undetected sources, T Pyx, V1974 Cygni and RX J0019.8+2156, were imaged in quiescence using the VLA in order to search for any persistent emission. No radio emission was detected in any of the VLA fields down to a typical 1σ rms noise of 20μJybeam-1, however, 17 new point sources were detected in the fields with 5-GHz fluxes between 100 and 1500μJy, giving an average 100-μJy source density of ~200deg-2, comparable to what was found in the MERLIN Hubble Deep Field survey. The persistent source AG Draconis was observed by MERLIN to provide a confirmation of previous VLA observations and to investigate the source at a higher resolution. The core is resolved at the milliarcsec scale into two components that have a combined flux of ~1mJy. It is possible that we are detecting nebulosity, which is becoming resolved out by the higher MERLIN resolution. We have investigated possible causes of radio emission from a wind environment, both directly from the secondary star, and also consequently, of the high X-ray luminosity from the white dwarf. There is an order of magnitude discrepancy between observed and modelled values that can be explained by the uncertainty in fundamental quantities within these systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)772-777
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2002


  • binaries: general
  • novae
  • cataclysmic variables
  • white dwarfs
  • radio continuum: stars
  • x-rays: stars


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